Parasailer's condition improves as police investigation continues

Parasailer's condition improves as police investigation continues

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LAKE GEORGE — The downstate man who nearly drowned after a parasailing accident Saturday on Lake George was in improved condition Monday as police worked to determine how he was pitched into the water and whether any laws were broken.

Adrian Robels was listed in serious condition Monday morning in Glens Falls Hospital, having been admitted in critical condition Saturday afternoon after he plunged into the lake while parasailing.

Robels, 23, was unconscious without a heartbeat after being submerged for an unspecified period of time. Police said lifesaving efforts by private boaters and the captain of the parasailing vessel on the water and by rescue squad personnel on shore were able to revive him.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office said Robels and his 27-year-old sister, residents of Orange County, were parasailing around 12:30 p.m. Saturday when they fell from the sky and landed in the lake near Tea Island. Both had life preservers on, but Mr. Robels became entangled in the parasailing line and was unable to stay afloat.

Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Stockdale said it appears surprise “wind shear” caused them to fall as they were being towed aloft. Boaters in the area plucked both out of the water, with personnel from the parasailing boat swimming to the boat where Mr. Robels was pulled aboard to help administer CPR.

“They said it was some sort of wind shear that made everything go awry,” Stockdale said.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating and is trying to figure out whether the company, Pinky’s Parasailing Adventures/JDQ Enterprises of Lake George, violated any state or Lake George Park Commission rules or regulations.

The Park Commission’s parasailing rules call for trips to be discontinued if winds top 20 mph, “seas” top 3 feet, or in fog, if there is a severe weather warning, or thunder is audible.

It was quite windy at times Saturday, and at least one other parasailing operation on the lake, Parasail Joe’s, halted its trips for the day Saturday morning because of the winds.

The National Weather Service in Albany did not have any wind reports for Lake George on Saturday, but logged gusts of up to 32 mph at Warren County Airport and 31 mph in Chestertown early Saturday afternoon.

Stockdale said part of the investigation will focus on whether there were any permitting violations when the trip occurred Saturday. He said the boat and equipment passed inspection Saturday.

“We’re going to look at everything,” he said.

He said the captain of the parasailing boat was very experienced, and is a certified parasailing instructor who has worked around the country and in Jamaica. She was among the staff who swam to the boat where Mr. Robels was rescued, and performed CPR.

Lake George Park Commission Executive Director David Wick said his agency had no comment on the case in light of the ongoing investigation. He said it was unclear Monday whether the situation would result in a review of parasailing rules on the lake.

JDQ Enterprises is owned by James Quirk, who also owns Shoreline Cruises and Shoreline Restaurant in Lake George. Calls to the business Saturday and Monday were not returned.

The Sheriff’s Office is looking to talk to any witnesses or people who might have cellphone video or surveillance video of the incident. The agency can be reached at 518-743-2500.


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